WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Community ended its 2011 baseball regular season on Saturday with a doubleheader split against first-place Yakima Valley at Warrior Field.
YVC took the opener 8-2 behind a complete-game, nine-hitter thrown by right-hander Nick Fowler.
WWCC got three hits from Kyle Sani and two from Kasey Knigge in the nightcap - a game Walla Walla took by a 4-3 score.
The Warriors completed the regular season 28-14 overall and 18-10 in league. WWCC will travel to Pasco for a four-team Eastern Region playoff that begins Friday and ends Saturday at Columbia Basin College.
Chance Kopacz hammered a two-run home run in the first inning of game one to account for Walla Walla's tallies. After that big swing, Fowler allowed just seven hits over the final eight innings and change.
"The difference in the game was that (Fowler) did a great job of getting ahead in counts and controlling at-bats," WWCC coach Dave Meliah said. "Our pitchers really struggled with that the first few innings."
Kasey Knigge highlighted a two-run Warrior rally in the second inning of game two with an RBI single. Sani added a similar hit in the sixth that tied the game at 3-3, and Alex Bonczyk brought home what proved to be the game-winning run with a one-base knock in the seventh.
Pitchers Mike Paulson, Josh Yundt, and Anthony Garza combined on a nine-hitter.
Saturday's doubleheader was the last at home for WWCC sophomores Kopacz, Sani, Bonczyk, Yundt, Marc Garza, Anthony Garza, Tyler Roberts, Christian Jacobsen, Brandon Renteria, Brett Watson, Nick Jordan, Justin Windsor,
"I am extremely proud of these guys and especially this group of sophomores," Meliah said. "They have worked hard and put WWCC baseball back on the map. They have proven that hard work and a belief in yourself and your teammates pays off.
"Now it's on to the East Region playoffs."
YVC 014 200 001 - 8 10 0
WWCC 200 000 000 - 2 9 3
Fowler and Chavarria; Arlt, N. Jordan (3), Jacobsen (7), Wujek (9) and Sani.
HR - WWCC: Kopacz.
Hits - YVC: Mueller 2, Berman 2, Mann 2, Chavarria 2, Sermo, Dallman; WWCC: Kopacz 2, J. Jordan 2, Bonczyk, Renteria, M. Garza, Sani, Knigge.
YVC 010 002 000 - 3 9 1
WWCC 020 001 10x - 4 10 2
Schoonover, Welton (8) and Kerns; Paulson, Yundt (7), A. Garza (8) and Leach.
HR - none.
Hits - YVC: Field 2, Berman 2, Weigel 2, Sermo, Mann, Kerns; WWCC: Sani 3, Knigge 2, Bonczyk, M. Garza, Kopacz, J. Jordan, Leach, Windsor.